Project
Scaling Learning Communities for Student Success
Description
Our project focuses on the regular collection and reporting of data as we scale first-year learning communities to enroll a greater proportion of our highly diverse student population.
Address Equity Gaps
4-Year Institution
Georgia
Justin Jernigan
Associate Professor of Linguistics, Senior Associate Vice President / Dean of Student Success
Karen Jackson
Assistant Professor of Education, Associate Dean for Advising Programs
Md Rahman
Research Associate II
Evidence

Key steps in the project process include:

Clarify parameters for measuring success among students enrolled in first-year learning communities.

Work collaboratively to disaggregate data, which allows us to pinpoint any equity gaps in terms of achievement along the academic journey: persistence, fall-to-fall retention, next semester performance, graduation/degree completion.

Identify students or cohorts for whom there are achievement gaps, developing a focused outreach plan to communicate and make available support resources.

Solidify evidence-based proposals for key advisement, mentoring, and academic support interventions.

Understand where changes to the learning community design and implementation process may be needed based on our findings.

Assess the process for improvement and return to the first step. Include quantitative assessment and qualitative feedback from students, faculty, and staff.

Goal

Our project focuses on the regular collection and reporting of data as we scale first-year learning communities to enroll a greater proportion of our highly diverse student population. The data, assembled by Institutional Research & Analytics based on input provided by Student Success in Academic Affairs, will be reported through an accessible dashboard and will help to identify and address any equity gaps and allow informed outreach to students for whom focused advising, mentoring, and academic interventions are needed to promote their success.

Lessons Learned

Key markers of progress and lessons learned thus far:

Data requests from Student Success to IRA filed in late 2022, revised in early 2023.

Conversations across IRA, IT, and Student Success have helped to clarify target measures of success.

New Student Success Committee (college-wide committee) established in Fall 2023 to work on expansion of learning communities. Membership includes representation from Academic Affairs (including Student Success), Student Affairs, IRA, and Enrollment Management.

Working now to identify tools needed to facilitate clear identification of any equity gaps and allow for robust, regular reporting.